Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Rayon Co. will forge an alliance in methyl methacrylate monomer, an acrylic resin compound used in LCD panel components and autoparts, the Nikkei reported. Mitsubishi Rayon is the leading producer in the global MMA monomer market, with a 37% share, since its 2009 takeover of leading British chemical manufacturer Lucite International Ltd. As part of the tie-up, Mitsui will spend roughly Y12 billion to buy a 5% interest in Lucite.
The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. unit also plans to make acrylic resin compounds in Saudi Arabia at a 50-50 joint venture with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. This venture is expected to have an annual output capacity of 250,000 tons and begin production in 2013. Mitsubishi Rayon's investment is estimated at around Y50 billion. Mitsui will consider taking a 15% stake in the joint venture as well.
Mitsui anticipates growth in mainly emerging markets. It will team up with Mitsubishi Rayon to assist it with global sales, financing and emerging-market operations. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Rayon, which has positioned acrylic resins as a core business, seeks to bolster Lucite's operations. This collaboration is uncommon since it goes beyond traditional corporate grouping